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MotoGP French GP: Martin dominates sprint race, Quartararo crashes out

Jorge Martin celebrated his first MotoGP sprint win of the season after a dominant display in the Saturday contest at the French Grand Prix as Fabio Quartararo crashed.

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Jorge Martin, Pramac Racing

Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Pramac Ducati rider Martin overhauled poleman and championship leader Francesco Bagnaia on lap four of 13 and instantly put eight tenths between them.

As Bagnaia squabbled with Marc Marquez, Martin eased into the distance and took the chequered flag 1.8 seconds clear of KTM’s Brad Binder.

Bagnaia completed the podium after fending off VR46’s Luca Marini, with Marquez fifth on his racing return from injury.

Off the line, Bagnaia got his factory Ducati into the Dunlop chicane first ahead of Martin, Jack Miller, Marini and Marquez – who slumped from second on the grid.

Marquez quickly disposed of Marini into Turn 7 to move up to fourth as the leading five quickly pulled away from the chasing pack.

Miller crashed out of the race on lap two when he lost the front of his KTM at Turn 7, promoting Marquez up to third.

At the same time, Binder put a hard move on Marini into Turn 8 to take fourth away from the Italian.

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Francesco Bagnaia, Ducati Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Behind, Quartararo dropped to 16th having started 13th on the opening lap, and returned to that position at the end of the opening tour.

Martin kept Bagnaia at arm’s length at the front and on lap four made his decisive move into the Dunlop chicane.

The Pramac rider ensured Bagnaia had no way to retaliate, and exiting Turn 8 moments later blasted eight tenths away as Bagnaia’s pace suddenly dropped.

Binder mugged Marquez and Bagnaia on the following tour to take second, though by this time Martin had streaked 1.4s clear in the lead.

Marquez capitalised on Bagnaia’s slowing pace to take third at the Dunlop chicane, the Honda rider throwing his RC213V up the inside into the first part and slamming the door on the way out to keep the Ducati behind.

Bagnaia threw his hand in the air in frustration at Marquez’s aggression, but the Italian took revenge on lap 10 as he eased on through back into third.

With Miller and Tech3’s Augusto Fernandez crashing out, and Alex Marquez dropping out of the top 10 after Maverick Vinales forced him off trying to recover from a moment at Turn 9, Quartararo found himself in eighth in the closing stages.

But the 2021 champion crashed on the way into Turn 9 on lap 10 to compound a difficult Saturday in front of his home crowd.

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing crash

Fabio Quartararo, Yamaha Factory Racing crash

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Martin came under no threat through to the chequered flag, as behind Binder secured back-to-back sprint podiums for KTM ahead of Bagnaia.

Marini got the better of Marquez late on to steal fourth, with Johann Zarco sixth on his Pramac Ducati.

Marco Bezzecchi (VR46) led Aprilia duo Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales, who took the final points down to ninth. Takaaki Nakagami completed the top 10 for LCR Honda.

Bagnaia’s championship lead has been cut to 23 points heading into Sunday’s grand prix, with Binder now his nearest challenger having leaped ahead of Bezzecchi in the standings.

MotoGP French GP Sprint race results (13 laps):

Cla Rider Bike Time Gap
1 Spain Jorge Martin Ducati -  
2 South Africa Brad Binder KTM 1.840 1.840
3 Italy Francesco Bagnaia Ducati 2.632 2.632
4 Italy Luca Marini Ducati 3.418 3.418
5 Spain Marc Marquez Honda 3.541 3.541
6 France Johann Zarco Ducati 4.483 4.483
7 Italy Marco Bezzecchi Ducati 5.224 5.224
8 Spain Aleix Espargaro Aprilia 6.359 6.359
9 Spain Maverick Viñales Aprilia 8.336 8.336
10 Japan Takaaki Nakagami Honda 9.439 9.439
11 Spain Alex Rins Honda 12.388 12.388
12 Italy Fabio Di Giannantonio Ducati 14.125 14.125
13 Italy Franco Morbidelli Yamaha 15.121 15.121
14 Spain Joan Mir Honda 15.383 15.383
15 Spain Alex Marquez Ducati 15.591 15.591
16 Italy Danilo Petrucci Ducati 19.415 19.415
17 Italy Lorenzo Savadori Aprilia 26.992 26.992
18 France Fabio Quartararo Yamaha    
19 Germany Jonas Folger KTM    
20 Spain Augusto Fernandez KTM    
21 Australia Jack Miller KTM    

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